How to Use a Commercial Paint Sprayer

August 19, 2022

A paint sprayer is one of the most convenient ways to paint a large area. It helps to cut back on the time it would normally take with a brush or roller. It makes the work much easier for the person doing it. You can spray on paint or stain using the machine. Work on a smaller wood project or paint a whole house using a sprayer.

Spraying with the machine fast is easy to do, but not always the best way to go about painting specific areas. Sprayers use around 30 percent more paint than rollers at any one time. This means you need protection against over spraying. Cleaning of the machine is recommended, and necessary regularly to keep the machine in the best working order.

This is one of the most convenient ways to spray an area. However, it is one of the best ways to complete specific projects. It might take a bit longer to clean up, but the overall process can be flawless and beautiful.

We are going to go over how to use one of these paint sprayers. This way, you can easily spray over those projects, big or small with ease. Take the time to look into all that comes with a sprayer to save yourself time, money, and more.

Difficulty: Beginner

Tools and Materials Needed

  • Paint Sprayer
  • Respirator
  • Painter’s Tape
  • Paint Buckets
  • Rags
  • Drop Cloths
  • Goggles
  • Paint Strainer
  • Mineral-Based Spirits (For Oil-Based Paint)
  • Ladder

Choose a Sprayer for Your Project

There are three different types of paint sprayers that you can choose from: high volume low pressure, airless sprayers, and pneumatic sprayers. The type you choose to use depends on the projects you want to work on.

Airless sprayers are normally used by professionals mostly, as well as large surfaces. This could be everything from walls inside a home to the siding on a house. The sprayer works to deliver paint at a rate of a half-gallon to two gallons per minute.

Using a high-volume low-pressure sprayer is best for those applications that require more detail. It offers a nice smooth finish with even air flow and paint volume control. This type of sprayer can cover larger surfaces at a quicker rate, but also perfect for touch-up work.

Pneumatic sprayers are sprayers that use compressed air to spray the paint. This increases the volume of paint that is given compared to other types. They are used for more precision in commercial painting.

Prep the Space Before Painting

You do have to prep the space before you use the sprayer. Use these tips to prep the area.

  • Make sure the area you’re painting is well ventilated before starting. Use window fans, open the windows, or vents.
  • Cover the furniture, floors, and other important pieces in the room with drop cloths.
  • Apply painter’s tape to the light outlets, windowsills, doors, and baseboards throughout the room.
  • Use buckets to mix paint and keep rags in hand for spills.
  • Use larger pieces of cardboard and wood to try out the sprayer before you use it.

Also read: How To Paint Bedroom Doors

Choose the Paint for the Sprayer

The paint you choose should be smooth, flow freely and evenly through the hose and spray nozzle. It shouldn’t clog. The lower the consistency or viscosity of the paint, the better the sprayer is going to work for you.

Keep in mind:

  • Airless sprayers work well with oil-based paint or stains.
  • HVLP sprayers work with oil-based, but don’t use water-based latex paint, as this can cause clogs to form.
  • Pneumatic sprayers work with oil-based enamel, latex, and acrylic paints.

Practice with the Sprayer First

You will want to practice with the sprayer before actually using it on the project. This will ensure that the project is done smoothly, easily, and offers the best coverage.

  1. Fill the sprayer with paint. Use it to spray a large piece of cardboard or wood propped up, or even scraps of drywall. You will want to keep several scraps of material on hand to ensure you’re practicing when you can.
  2. Try out both vertical and horizontal spray movements to have a more consistent spray pattern. You want a uniform look on the surface.
  3. When holding the sprayer closer to the surface, it applies more paint in the area and is a narrower spray.
  4. When holding the sprayer further away, it creates a thinner, wider pattern.
  5. When holding the sprayer too far away, the paint can dry before it even touches the surface. If this happens, you may want to respray. This will also deplete the paint faster.

Use the Sprayer

Before painting, you want to start with strokes before you pull the trigger. You will want to make the movements, and then pull the trigger to get the paint to come out. This will prevent too much paint from building up on the surface. You will want to continue to do these stroke movements even after you’ve released the trigger.

Make sure to watch the paint as it sits on the surface as you paint. You want to speed up or slow down based on how the paint is coming out of the gun and onto the wall. Adjust the sprayer based on the type of project you’re working on.

Usually, regardless of the sprayer you’re using, there is a knob on the machine that you can use to adjust the amount of spray or the speed that it comes out. This way, you can adjust given the specific project that you’re working on and the amount of paint that is needed to complete it.

Spray straight towards the surface you’re painting. You don’t want to paint at a steep angle. You can adjust the tip of the sprayer for a vertical or horizontal spray.

Avoid swinging the sprayer back and forth on the surface further. You don’t want to do jerky movements but be smooth in the application. Do not over flex your wrist while spraying. Keep the gun positioned in a way that prevents spray arches that might otherwise cause uneven coats of paint finish.

Regularly wipe off the tip of the paint sprayer by using a rag. This prevents the paint from drying while spraying in the right pattern. Always start with the corners and eaves of the painting project first. Work from the top to the bottom.

Once the project is finished, make sure to clean out the sprayer completely. You want to rinse the sprayer, the reservoir, and more. Do not keep the paint inside the sprayer for an extended period of time.

Always keep safety in mind when you’re using the sprayer. Never use it on a person or animal. If the sprayer paints skin, this can be hazardous as it is coming out of a high-pressure sprayer. If this happens, always make sure to seek medical attention right away.

Top Things to Know

There are some things you will want to keep in mind when using a paint sprayer. When it comes to covering a surface, you need the best tips and tricks. Here are the best things to keep in mind when it comes down to spraying.

Paint sprayers can be a powerful tool to help you reduce the time it takes to spray and improve the overall look of the paint. Whether it is a large commercial exterior painting sprayer or a handheld one, they should be used in the same manner.

Always read the tool’s instructions before loading it with paint. You want to disassemble and re-assemble the sprayer, as well. This way, you can learn more about how it works and how the paint comes out. You want to be as familiar as possible with the sprayer before you start working on any project.

You want to give yourself some time before starting your project. You want to protect yourself with the proper gear, especially your bare skin because this can be dangerous. Being able to be familiar and protected are the biggest tips to keep in mind.

Keep a ladder on hand if you have higher places to reach with the spray gun. You want to be careful while using the sprayer on a ladder, especially if it is one that plugs in. You want to watch for the cord while working.

Get Help if it is Needed

When it comes to painting your projects, you want to work with the right materials, tools, or even professionals for the job. If you find that spraying is not for you, there are professionals who can come out and do the paint job for you.

The right professional can make all the difference in your paint job. You want to do a bit of research to find out more about the project, what is necessary, what you can do to make it better, and more. Always ask for help if you find that a project is too much for you. This way, you get more for the job being done.

Contact a professional today at:


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